Sara Jane (Mortensen) Mutch, age 68, died on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at home with her daughter after a rare and rapidly progressive illness. Sara was predeceased by her husband of 33 years, David A. Mutch, in 2007 and missed him so very much every day. Sara and David were married six weeks after they met at the College Inn in South Hadley when David sat in for the Inn’s piano player on his break. After they married, Sara and David built their house in South Hadley along the Connecticut River where they raised their daughter, Becky, and enjoyed hosting many family parties.
Sara is survived by her daughter, Rebecca J. Mutch Salce, her beloved son-in-law, Marco Salce, two step-grandchildren, Giuliana Salce and Griffin Salce, her mother, Marjorie L. Mortensen, her sister, Amy L. Rice (Timothy), her aunt, Ruth Hannah, and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews in Canada and the U.S. Along with her husband, David, Sara was predeceased by her father, Carl M. Mortensen, who passed away at age 96 earlier this year.
Sara was raised in Woburn, Massachusetts, and graduated from Woburn High School. After high school, Sara attended Westfield State College where she majored in fine art. Sara loved art, books, reading the newspaper with a good cup of coffee, and PBS programming, especially Masterpiece Theater and the Newshour. Sara was a warm and welcoming hostess and a wonderful cook, especially on Thanksgiving which she hosted at her home for over 30 years. Sara also enjoyed traveling with her friends and her daughter, Becky, visiting Crete, Ireland, Cornwall, and Amsterdam in recent years. But Sara most loved spending time with Becky, wherever they were.
Until shortly before her death, Sara worked in human resources at UMass Amherst in the College of Education. Prior to UMass, Sara worked for many years at Peoples Bank and at the Holyoke office of the American Cancer Society. Sara always made great friends at work and was a caring and thoughtful “work mom” to many. Sara was one of those rare people that had the ability to make friends of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds. She will be missed by so many, including her beloved “Parade Ladies” from the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, of which Sara was an active member for many years and where she put her hostess and “cruise director” skills to best use.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, November 15th from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke. Masks and social distancing are required. Capacity limitations will also be in place per order of the Commonwealth. A graveside funeral service, followed by burial, will be held on Monday, November 16th at the Village Cemetery in South Hadley Falls, processing from the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sara’s memory may be made to WGBY/New England Public Media (www.nepm.org), Friends of the South Hadley Public Library (www.shadleylib.org), or to your local public television station.
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